Comment: Dilyana Gaytandzhieva's investigative journalism is more important than ever given the recent admission by Victoria Nuland that Ukraine has biological research facilities. See her recent interview with MintPress News here.

dilyana gaytandzhieva
This week on The Truth Perspective we will be interviewing Bulgarian investigative journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva. Dilyana broke the story of a CIA-run international arms smuggling ring that was using diplomatic protection to deliver weapons to ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria. Though Dilyana's research was printed by Bulgaria's Trud newspaper - complete with corroborating documentation - she was fired from her job soon after being interrogated by the Bulgarian national security apparatus.

Ms. Gaytandzhieva is a seasoned journalist and war correspondent who has reported from Aleppo, Syria and from other hotspots around the world. Through her years of experience in the field she has gained first-hand knowledge of how weapons are shipped, who they were used by, and who the victims of terrorist atrocity have been.

Join us on The Truth Perspective this Sunday, 4 February 2018, from 12-2pm EST / 5-7pm UTC / 6-8pm CET as Dilyana shares the results of her in-depth investigations and her most recent work on the Pentagon's Bio-warfare labs.

You can read about Dilyana's investigative journalism here:

* Leaked Documents Expose How US and Gulf Allies Send Weapons to Terrorists Under Diplomatic Cover
* Pentagon Biological Weapons Program Never Ended: US Bio-labs Around The World
* International investigation reveals US government cover-up of weapons shipments to Syrian terrorists
* Journalist reporting links between CIA and weapons sent to terror groups in Syria interrogated, then fired

Running Time: 01:36:18

Download: MP3

Here's the transcript of the show:

Elan: Hello. Today is Sunday, February 4, 2018 and welcome to the Truth Perspective everyone. I'm your host Elan Martin and with me in the studio today is Harrison Koehli.

Harrison: Hello everyone.

Elan: Joining us on the show we're fortunate to have with us today Bulgarian investigative journalist and Middle East correspondent, Dilyana Gaytandzhieva. Welcome to the show Dilyana.

Dilyana: Hello and thank you for having me and taking an interest in my investigations.

Elan: Well we appreciate you spending the time with us today to discuss those investigations. They're super interesting. But before we discuss those could you please share with us and our listeners a little bit about your background and what it is you've been used to doing as a journalist for the past several years?

Dilyana: Yes, sure. I'm a Bulgarian journalist currently based in Sofia. This is the Bulgarian capital. I've been a journalist for 15 years and the last five years of which I've been covering war zones and especially the Middle East. The last years I covered the war in Syria in particular and my last investigations were on the Bulgarian weapons supplied to terrorists in Syria; not only Bulgarian weapons, it's turned out that many countries supplied weapons to the so-called moderate rebels in Syria. My country was one of them but the organizer of this scheme, this international criminal scheme, was not my country. If you want me to start with this investigation I can continue.

Elan: Sure.

Dilyana: The main organizer of this criminal scheme was the Pentagon and the CIA and I have documents proving this involvement and also Saudi Arabia. Let's not forget the involvement of Saudi Arabia. Actually Balkan states such as Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, Croatia, the Czech Republic. They sold weapons to the US Special Operations Command and covert program of the Pentagon and the CIA and these weapons were transported to different war zones on diplomatic flights provided by the Azeri state run company Silkway Airlines. So you can see how many have been involved in this international weapons shipments to terrorists in Syria.

Unfortunately so far we have nobody held to account because the result is appalling. More than 500,000 people in Syria have already been killed by the very same weapons. Everybody talks about how disgusting this war is. Everybody says "We are against terrorism" but actually they have been secretly facilitating this terrorist zone because if the terrorists had not had these weapons they could not have established their caliphate and not have killed so many people in Syria as well as other places.

I have documents on 360 diplomatic flights with weapons to Syria and Yemen and Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Congo and Qatar who also sells around the world. And all these flights were performed in the last three years. Actually I'm talking about weapons supplies since 2015. This is what I have documented.

Harrison: Dilyana, maybe you can tell our listeners how you first found out about these connections because you were actually a correspondent on the ground in Syria. Is that correct?

Dilyana: Yes. I come from a very small country and journalists have no secrets so we, I mean the journalists in Bulgaria, knew that Bulgaria had been supplying weapons to Syria but the proof came in December of 2016 when I was reporting on the battle of Aleppo when the jihadists from al-Nusra Front, the al-Qaeda fiat in Syria, retreated from their positions in eastern Aleppo, I got inside the al-Nusra Front's warehouses for heavy weapons with Bulgaria as their country of origin. I was accompanied with a local cameraman and producer and my local sources. I'm stressing this because all the time I got asked the same question, who helped you get inside? Where did you get the information from?

I can assure you all the journalists who were covering this war there, all of them were able to go inside if they wished and to film these weapons. If they wanted to carry out an investigation they could have carried out such investigations and they would have help from this weapons supplies a long time ago. They just did not want to do that.

So I'm not the only journalist. I was there and I did what I had to do and what I had to show to the people, that's the truth. I don't know why other journalists didn't do the same. I have no explanation. I have an explanation but I don't want to talk about other journalists. It's up to their conscience.

Elan: Right. Well Dilyana, at some point in the midst of your doing your correspondence work in Syria, some documents were leaked to you. Can you tell us a little bit about that and how that helped your investigation?

Dilyana: When I filmed the Bulgarian weapons, the weapons had serial numbers, they had labels with the manufacturer and the Bulgarian company which exported these weapons. So I traced back these shipments when I got back to my home country and I started publishing a series of reports on these weapons shipments but a few months after my first report from Aleppo I got a message on Twitter from an anonymous Twitter account and I was leaked secret documents which were diplomatic notes between a number of embassies, not only in Bulgaria but also in other countries, mainly Balkan countries. This was the first bundle, between them and the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and many other embassies.

So in these leaked documents I found out the documentation which proved the diplomatic scheme, actually how all these countries supplied weapons on diplomatic flights and under diplomatic cover to the US Special Operations Command which transported these weapons to Syria and the diplomatic cover, diplomatic flights exempt of checks, inspections and air bills. Even now we can exactly see the type and the quantity of the weapons which was shipped to Syria. We can't say if this was exactly the same quantity because no checks or inspections have ever been made.

I published a link to these documents online because I wanted people to see the documents and to believe me because in the beginning my reports were met with silence in my country and with rejection. I was accused of betraying the interests of my country and several allegations. I was accused of wrongdoing because I didn't keep silent about what I saw in Syria. But it still does not explain why I published these revelations.

Every human being must do the same because I do believe if we all fight against such criminal schemes, we can somehow stop them when we shed lights on weapons supplies, sooner or later these supplies will stop and they understand that as soon as I started publishing my reports, other journalist also got involved. They also published the documents and started investigating the weapons supplies to terrorists from their countries and finally the US government announced the termination of the program. Actually this was the first time when Donald Trump confirmed the existence of such a program initially. I'm happy that this in the end stopped.

So even though the United States still uses Bulgarian weapons in other places, this is another issue. At least my reports helped people in my country to see the truth because Bulgarians are not a war-like country and no matter what our government has been doing, we're against our involvement in this war, especially when we send the weapons to terrorists, the so-called moderate rebels. These were not moderate rebels. These were al-Qaeda terrorists because you can't call an opposition moderate when it is heavily armed and when it kills civilians.

Harrison: That reminds me of the story just in the last week. There was something going on in Syria. I think it might have been the downing of the Russian jet just yesterday. It might have been the BBC, but a big western media organization had put out a headline saying that rebel group claims responsibility for downing the jet and then in the article it names the rebel group as...

Dilyana: An Al-Qaeda affiliate.

Harrison: Right, and it even says in there "A known affiliate of Al-Qaeda in Syria". So right in the headline they call them a rebel group and then in the actual article they mention that they're Al-Qaeda which really goes to show how biased and how little regard for truth or presenting the actual story that the western media actually have, that they'll continue on with this narrative about rebels in Syria. Even if this was in Iraq where the Americans had the upper hand militarily, they would have called them terrorists but because it's Syria and because it's Bashar Al-Assad and Russia and Hezbollah on the side against the terrorists then they're just called rebel groups.

Dilyana: That's absolutely true and I have seen on the ground in Syria how some journalists tend to report, for example, on explosions and how others even didn't go there to go and film the victims of those atrocities simply because they new very well that the perpetrators were Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State. They just ignored such tragedies. Many other examples can be given but the point is that finally the world starts to realize the truth. The truth is abhorrent. All the countries, from Europe and the United States, Saudi Arabia, supplied the weapons to the terrorists in Syria on the pretext that these are honest revolutionaries fighting against Bashar Al-Assad.

Always I get the same question - are you supporting Bashar Al-Assad? No! I don't support any regime. I'm against any regime and I have been reporting from Syria for five years so I have seen a lot and I don't support any regime. But I can't accept that because you're against the government of a foreign country, you should facilitate terrorists so that they can follow your own agenda. I'm talking about the United States and Saudi Arabia. You can find nationals among the terrorists from 86 countries. How come all these nationals from 86 countries, how come they cross the border and enter Syria? They were facilitated, not only to penetrate Syria but also to be heavily armed and launch attacks on civilians in Syria so that they can topple the Assad regime.

Unfortunately five years later we have more than half a million people dead and nobody will be held to account. I tried to check what the legal basis is for that but it has turned out, for example, that the United States is not the state that adheres to their own statute of the international criminal court meaning that the US government - I differentiate between the American people and the government - can't be held to account for war crimes simply because they didn't join this international treaty long ago to hold somebody to account.

Elan: Dilyana, you have a very specific and firsthand, but also a bird's eye view of the situation in Syria. You were not only looking at it from the eyes of a journalist but you were on the ground there. I've heard interviews with you where you've seen things on the ground. You've seen the direct impact and destruction of the weapons that were a part of this scheme that you describe in your articles. So it's become a very real thing to you. My impression is it has hit you on a visceral level...

Dilyana: Yes.

Elan: ...that made the whole situation very difficult to ignore, not only a journalist but just as a human being.

Dilyana: Exactly. Maybe I'm too much influenced by what I saw in Syria. Yes I must confirm that I try to be not prejudiced and to set aside all these emotions but there are a lot of stories which struck me, and which haunt me still. I can't forget a rocket attack. I was in Aleppo and because when we're talking about this, they're just numbers, they are statistics but when you see yourself even one dead - in my case the death of a child - you just can't stop thinking about it. It really matters. It has a name. It is not anonymous.

So I was inside a hotel in Aleppo with many western journalists by they way, and a rocket fell next to us and we heard a huge blast, so high, the rest of the journalists left because they knew that this rocket came from eastern Aleppo where the so-called moderate rebels were located. So the western journalists were not supposed to cover this tragedy because they couldn't say to their viewers "Look what the moderate rebels are doing. They are hitting civilians in western Aleppo, the terrorists, not the Syrian government or the Russian forces on the ground in Aleppo. When we asked them about this strike, the rocket had fallen upon a car with a mother and a child in the car, they were beheaded and the child was beheaded and I can't forget this and I can't stop thinking that this was the very same rocket that I heard in eastern Aleppo, at the same time a Bulgarian rocket.

I tried to explain to people in Bulgaria "Look what our government is doing. Look what happened in Aleppo. The Bulgarian rocket killed that child and beheaded a 5-year-old child with his mother while heading to the market to buy food." And all of a sudden, this rocket fell over them and they were beheaded. And when you see the death yourself, it really matters. It was not only this child. A lot of children there beheaded the same way, a whole lot, just because governments from the other part of the world want to topple another government in the other part of the world. I can't understand the sense of this war.

Every crisis has a political solution but war is not a solution. It can't change anything. That is why I can't put aside my emotions. I'm sorry that I'm so emotional. People can't really understand the truth because they don't have the truth. All that's being presented to them is propaganda. We have this saying here in my country "The first victim of every war is the truth" and this is what happened to Syria. The first victim of the war in Syria was the truth. From the very first day people were lied to by the media and this was regularly shown. This wasn't a revolution.

What happened here is in the beginning so me of the protests were against the regime and people did want a change but very soon their protests were hijacked by foreign powers and they turned these peaceful protests into a bloodshed.

Harrison: Dilyana, you've mentioned interacting with Bulgarians about this and several minutes ago you said that one of the response that you've gotten has been to try to shame you for bringing these documents and these realities to light. Have you gotten any positive feedback from Bulgarians, even just ordinary people who have responded to what you've been saying?

Dilyana: Yeah, some social media luckily. I had huge support from my fellow-countrymen and women but I didn't have any support from my colleagues in other organizations in Bulgaria. Some of them told me in private conversations that they don't want to lose their jobs as happened to me. This is the price sometimes. We have to choose between our wellbeing and our conscience and our duty.

Because for me I felt ashamed and I felt terrible in Syria when people asked me where I came from and when I asked them. The first question I got was "Why are you sending weapons to terrorist to kill our children?" and I did not know what to answer. I asked what people think of Bulgaria and other Balkan states and they replied "Terrorists", but this is not true. Yes, Bulgarian weapons are provided to terrorists in Syria but they were transported on diplomatic flights by the Pentagon and the CIA. It sounds like science fiction but I can provide the documents proving that allegation. All this was well prepared and as a result, finally, we have one of the biggest wars in the last decade, the war in Syria.

Elan: Just getting back to the response from the people of Bulgaria, at some point you had put out a few of these articles in Trud newspaper and the Bulgarian intelligence agencies had called you in to discuss your research with you. Could you tell us a little bit about what happened there and why they called you in?

Dilyana: In the beginning the Bulgarian prosecutor launched an investigation into the Bulgarian weapons supplied to terrorists in Aleppo but nobody even asked me to provide this footage and I was the only witness and nobody even questioned me. They didn't want me to speak out about my findings in Aleppo. A few weeks later they came to the conclusion that there was no wrongdoing by the manufacturer of those weapons and the company which exported the weapons, so all was fine. They said Bulgaria has not sent weapons to terrorists in Syria which was obvious.

I don't expect that the Bulgarian government or the Bulgarian prime minister to have a contract with Gilani or Baghdadi or Al-Qaeda or Al-Nusra or with the Islamic State. Of course not! The scheme was under diplomatic cover and I provided evidence and documents.I want to explain legislation in Bulgaria. Every weapons export from Bulgaria must be approved by a special commission which includes members of the Bulgarian government and the director of the Bulgarian National Security Agency. So all these weapons export have been approved by Bulgarian officials, by the Bulgarian government and by the director of the Bulgarian National Security Agency.

They were all well aware that these Bulgarian weapons were going to a war zone and they tried to justify themselves by the fact that the consignee was US Special Operations Command, also Saudi Arabia, but neither the US Army nor the Saudi army used Bulgarian weapons because they're Soviet style weapons. They are non-US standard weapons and they're not compatible with the military standards of the US Army and the Saudi army. Furthermore I provided footage and evidence from the terrorists in Aleppo that Bulgarian weapons ended up in the hands of terrorists. They ignored that fact and instead of investigating the crimes, mainly weapons shipments to terrorists, they investigated me and my sources.

I was interrogated by the Bulgarian National Security Agency. They wanted me to disclose my sources. I'm not obliged to do it, not because the Bulgarian legislation protects me as a journalist. No, because my understanding of how a journalist must protect its sources allows me to do that. So I didn't disclose my sources and a few hours later I got a phone call from the secretary of the newspaper where I used to work and she asked me to go and sign the papers for my resignation, for my firing actually. They did not want me to go back to Syria to continue the investigation because I was about to travel again to Syria in order to finish this investigation. I had huge documentation revealing the types of weapons and I wanted to see how many of these items ended up in Syria but they didn't want me to do it. That's why I was fired, to stop investigating.

Harrison: Have you been working independently since then or have you been working with another paper?

Dilyana: I am a freelance journalist. I prefer to work that way because I can't imagine to go through this again. It was a huge humiliation for me. I was in a position to try to justify my reports that I risked my life for in Aleppo! I'm not complaining, don't get me wrong. I had to justify why I risked my life in Aleppo instead of covering critics here in Sofia and it was very shameful. I'm not in a position to justify my decisions in life. So I get to do what I want and any media organization which is willing to feature such stories is welcome and I am glad to work with anybody who wants to shed light on such issues, mainly weapons supplies.

Now I am investigating different weapons programs. It is not only the Syrian program. There are many Pentagon weapons programs.

Harrison: Did we want to get into that or is there more you wanted to cover on Syria?

Elan: Is there anything else crucial to your story about the Syrian arms smuggling that we left out at this time Dilyana? Anything that we should include here to round out the picture?

Dilyana: There is a follow-up story. There is a reaction and it came not from the Bulgarian government or the Pentagon or Saudi Arabia or other parties involved in these diplomatic weapons shipments. It came from the Council of Europe. The parliamentary assembly at the Council of Europe are going to vote on a resolution to investigate the weapons supplied to terrorists in Syria. They also want to implement special legislation so that whistleblowers and journalists can work more freely instead of being fired, which is very positive news. I'm very happy that six months later such an international organization is willing at least to investigate.

I'm far from the illusion that justice will ever be served maybe because I come from a place where we are so used to injustice that we can't even believe that finally, in the end, that justice will be served. But it's good that somebody in the end raises this problem. I hope that at least special legislation will be passed on it and we can work freely, independently in the end, without persecution.

Elan: That's a very nice thing to hear actually and maybe less a question than a comment about this whole story that you broke Dilyana. The plausible deniability idea here is so strong. Technically speaking, when the CIA and the Pentagon organized these transports and connected with these governments in Bulgaria and Azerbaijan and other places, they must have been told "This isn't illegal. What we're doing is perfectly legal under diplomatic cover. We can't be questioned or found out because of that privilege." It's so sneaky! And yet somehow the CIA had managed to convince the governments of the countries involved to participate.

Dilyana: It's not hard to convince the Bulgarian government, I can assure you, because I've been working as a journalist for 15 years in my country and all I've seen here is serving foreign interests, not the interests of the Bulgarian people. From what I've seen in the documents there are many companies which acted as middlemen, intermediaries and they hid all the traces so that the scheme would be legal on papers but it wasn't legal because in the end-user certificates, the end-user was not specified. The US Special Operations Command sent letters to the Bulgarian government and to this special commission which authorizes the weapons export and in these letters, the US Special Operations Command has written "these weapons are for the needs of the US government and our international allies abroad".

But who are these international allies? And furthermore these fake end-user certificates means that you must put and specify the end-user, who is going to use these weapons. It wasn't encased in the documents so now we're talking about absolutely illegal weapons exports.The Bulgarian legislature and Bulgaria is a state party to the UN Conventions and many other international treaties and under all these international treaties and legislation Bulgaria is not allowed to export weapons to third parties in this case, unknown third parties, on documents the end-user was not specified.

So however we look at these documents, they are fake. This is not an official document in the way that it should be presented to the government from another country. And the Bulgarian government and Bulgarian officials who sign such big end-user shipments, should be put in jail. That's the truth. This is absolutely illegal and it's in violation of the Bulgarian and international law. I'm not talking about the United States officials. It turns out that the United States has not signed this international convention which is not surprising because they know very well - I mean the Pentagon, the CIA - they know very well that what they have been doing would be illegal if the US joined this UN convention. That's why the United States has not signed. But Bulgaria did sign such a convention and not only Bulgaria-Serbia and other Balkan states.

So we're talking about intentional violation of international law. And all those officials must be tried and must be put in jail.

Harrison: But unfortunately, like you mentioned, there will be this investigation about the Bulgarian arms shipments but like you said, Bulgaria and all these other Balkan and eastern European countries are basically acting as middlemen. So the image that came to my mind was the drug dealing the way it is in the United States and Canada for instance, where you have the head of the organization, the big boss of the drug trafficking organization, but then the only people who usually get caught are the small guys on the street that are pushing the drugs for their bosses. And the bosses never get caught. It's always the guys on the street. I wouldn't say never, but most often it's the kids on the street that are pushing the drugs for their boss. But the people actually organizing getting the drugs into the country and then giving the drugs to their low-level employees that sell them on the streets, the big guys never get caught.

Dilyana: Yes.

Harrison: So in this case we've got Bulgaria being investigated potentially but we'll never hear anything about how it was the United States government and military and intelligence agencies that were the ones pulling the strings and working the system and manipulating Bulgaria, among other countries, to do their dirty work for them because like you said, the US isn't a party to the international criminal court. So they just get other countries who happen to be parties, to do the dirty work for them and then they can get away with it. We won't see Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton or anyone that was in government at that time or in the military or intelligence being held to account. It's just a shame really.

Dilyana: What made me very angry in the sense of the Bulgarian involvement in the war in Syria was that many international media organizations ignored the Silkway documents, I mean the document proving that the Pentagon and CIA used diplomatic cover and diplomatic rights to transport weapons to war zones. I provided the full documentation to many western journalists and to even to many journalists in Germany because people don't know but the German government was also involved in weapons supplies to Syria and these documents prove that fact.

Anyway, these foreign journalists just ignored the documents and preferred to report on the involvement of one small country like Bulgaria or Serbia or Romania, from countries from eastern Europe, presenting them as the main supplier to terrorist in Syria. They just ignored the involvement of their own governments. What I wanted to do is if many journalists joined together and if we all can hold to account our governments, the German government, the Bulgarian government, the US government and so on, and I wanted to do something like an organization of journalists who can fight together because it wasn't easy and I don't want to lie to you. I had my bad times. I had terrible moments when I didn't want to go out. I feared for my family's safety. Yes it was hard for me, I don't want to lie to you. But I felt that if many journalists joined together we could make a difference. Unfortunately, western journalists don't want to publish the Silkway documents. I don't know why.

I got an answer from a journalist from Germany. In the beginning he was very impressed. He was willing to make a scandal in Germany and to reveal the truth. So I sent him all the documents. I separated and attached to another email the documents for Germany. So he asked the German Ministry of Defense about the involvement of his country in the weapons supplies and he got an answer that the defense ministry of Germany never chartered Silkway Airline, which was a blatant lie because he had the documents, how the Ministry of Defense of Germany chartered many times, Silkway Airlines for such weapons supplies.

I don't know. He did not publish anything and now people think that we have countries which fight terrorism and we have countries which supply terrorism. Guess who are the countries who supply terrorism? Small countries from eastern Europe like Bulgaria and Romania, but the main players, you will not see them in the mainstream media unfortunately.

Elan: Yeah. The list of major countries in the world that were part of this program is just mind-boggling in one sense. In another sense you hear about Germany lying about their connection to Silkways and you remember how deeply the CIA has its hooks into German media and how the NSA has been so closely monitoring the German government. There have been so many stories about how much of a hold the US intelligence apparatus has on the functioning of Germany. It isn't such a surprise in one sense.

But on that note Dilyana, I'm wondering if we can get into your recent work in your research on the Pentagon's bioweapon research around the world because when we saw this article posted to South Front a few weeks ago, the first thing I thought when I saw it was "Wow!"

Dilyana: "Science fiction. This is not possible." {laughs}

Elan: Well that and I was very happy for you that you had taken the ball and ran with it in a way. You had broken that other story and here you were - we republished it as soon as we could. This is a really extensive, comprehensive article on the Pentagon's bioweapon research around the world and whatever you think they've been doing, it's far more extensive and there's far more money involved than I had imagined. I guess the first question I'd want to ask you is what made you interested in covering this topic as extensively as you have with your new article?

Dilyana: I came across this program which is not titled - don't be mistaken - biological weapons program. No. I came across this program while investigating all the Pentagon weapons programs. And because I'm from a generation which doesn't have much memory of that time. I wasn't born when the United States and the other countries joined the UN Convention on the prohibition of biological weapons in 1975. So in the beginning when I saw these documents it was really shocking. We used to think about biological weapons as something which terrorist may obtain, may develop and may use against civilians. This is what we're used to thinking about biological weapons. Or we've seen biological weapons only in TV movies or Hollywood movies.

But when you see documents, real documents, originating from the Pentagon about a program involving 25 countries, this is more than shocking. I found document on a program which is called Cooperative Biological Engagement Program with a budget of $2.1 billion so far. It found Pentagon bio laboratories in 25 countries across the world, but mainly countries which border on Russia, China and Iran. These countries from the former Soviet Union such as Georgia and Ukraine, also countries in the Middle East, in Southeast Asia and Africa.

The program is a very positive name, "Cooperative Biological Engagement Program", but when you start checking the projects in detail, you see that actually this is an active biological weapons program involving the whole of the world.

So what I did was to follow the project, especially in Georgia and Ukraine. By the way, I want to stress something which is the scariest for me. The US army has official military facilities - according to the documents which I've seen - in the state of Utah. This military facility which is called the Dugway Proving Ground and which was used in the past by the US Army while they were running the US biological weapons program. So we have the same military facility as the one in the past, testing and producing bio-agents. I'm talking about the present. And this military facility not only produces bio-agents such as anthrax, tularemia, botulism toxins, but in this military facility the US army also developed different techniques for dissemination of these biological agents, not only by aerosol but also by explosives!

Can you imagine that? The army is testing dissemination of bio-agents by explosives! What for?! They say the justification is a defensive program but what defense is there in the fact that first the US army tests dissemination by explosives of bio-agents and secondly, the US army has their laboratories around its main rivals, Russia, China and Iran. The fact that it's so scary that people can't believe it. I contacted a journalist in Georgia and in Ukraine. They were so scared to talk about this issue. When they heard about the Pentagon program they just flatly rejected any conversation, not because they didn't know it was true, simply because they were so afraid and they did not want to risk their safety, their well-being. These are small countries like Bulgaria. Georgia is an even poorer country than Bulgaria. Journalists in Georgia just gave up on this investigation. They didn't want to be investigated by the Pentagon Bio Laboratory.

What is sad is that there are many outbreaks in all these countries where the Pentagon Bio-laboratories are operating and people suffer. People die from deadly diseases on a daily basis but they don't know the source of these outbreaks. The truth is that they are used as the testing ground for viruses, bacteria and toxins which can be easily weaponized and used in the future should the need arise, against Russia, China and Iran.

Elan: One of the shocking elements to your article Dilyana was that they were also looking into weaponizing insects, that they were testing mosquitoes and ticks and biting flies to be used as vectors or carriers of various diseases. When I read this I thought, "Gosh, if they wanted to infect a part of the population in a really underhanded and covert manner without conventional weapons, they can just unleash some of these weaponized insects that they've produced in their labs to destroy the health of people and possibly even kill them." It's like you said earlier, it sounds like science fiction but there have been cases that you've documented in the vicinity of these biolabs in Georgia and Ukraine and I think Chechnya...

Dilyana: Yes.

Elan: ...where people have experienced these insects and have come down with certain diseases.

Dilyana: Yes, and we must all ask the question "Why has the US spent $840 million over the past year on infective biology and defense is the main consumer of these biological synthetic findings. What for?!?" Why is the Pentagon interested in researching genetic modification of insects? The Pentagon has a number of very scary military projects on genetically modified insects. One of the projects which shocked me is engineering of insects so that they can transmit genetically modified viruses. On the one hand you genetically engineer insects. On the other hand you genetically engineer a virus and the aim of this project is to join them and to do a super mosquito for example, that can target a specific population, transmitting a genetically modified virus. This is very scary.

There's another project which seeks to create again, a special type of mosquito which can resist certain temperatures and which can also change its habitat. I can give one example. Such is the case in Georgia and in neighbouring Dagestan. This is a republic from the Russian Federation. In these two place people complain of being bitten by biting flies in their bathrooms while naked and they can't defend themselves because these insects are everywhere. They can't be killed. They can't be sprayed and destroyed. They're everywhere. They're super insects which probably are a result of the activity of the Pentagon in their military bio-lab called Lugar Center in the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi.

Also I was shocked by the fact that nobody questioned the need for such programs. How can the production of genetically modified viruses and insects be legal in the United States but it is legal. And enhanced potential pandemic pathogens experiments are legal in the United States. Why?! Why in the United States is there such legislation? For what?! This is simply a way to cover up such projects in the name of scientific research. I can't understand for what? The scientists create these viruses in order to research them. What's the point of this?!

Why do you want to create these viruses? They can justify these experiments in that way. "We want to be ready in the future if all of a sudden a deadly disease occurs." Or confirm in the way the vaccination process happens, the scientists isolate the pathogen and then develop a vaccine. It is not needed to develop the virus so that you can develop a vaccine afterwards when you don't even have outbreaks!! You have a virus which is identified by you in a laboratory. I can't understand how such experiments can be legal in the United States in the first place.

Elan: Actually in your article you mention Jeff Sessions being a lobbyist for some of the corporations that do this research and getting I think a quarter of a million dollars at some point...

Dilyana: Yeah.

Elan: 2007, 2008. I think he's the US Attorney General under Trump right now and if that should give folks any indication, there's a huge amount of money that US taxpayers are paying through the Pentagon to lobby our own politicians to support this kind of research. So at least part of the answer to this insanity as you so well expressed Dilyana, is that there's a disease here in the US of greed that would help our politicians, our military, to overlook the moral and ethical implications of such research in order to enrich themselves. It's just a major, major problem that we've been seeing and documenting here on for many years now. So yeah, greed. It's a big one certainly.

Dilyana: Yeah, the fact that the Pentagon uses private contractors, this is very indicative. I want to stress that the Defense Threat Reduction Agency - this is the agency in charge of funding these programs - has outsourced much of the work around that military program to private companies which are not held accountable to Congress and which can operate more freely and move around the rule of law.

In some of the documents I found out that US civilian personnel performing work at the Georgia bio-laboratory called the Lugar Center, have also been given diplomatic immunity although they are not diplomats. This means that private companies can perform work under diplomatic cover for the US government without being under the direct control of the host state, or the Republic of Georgia. And this practice is often used by the CIA to provide cover for its agents. It is all the same. If you follow the Pentagon program, it's a CIA program. It is always the same; the use of diplomatic cover, the use of diplomatic immunity.

In the case of the weapons supplied to terrorists in Syria, it was diplomatic flights. In the case of the Pentagon bio-laboratories located in other places and other countries, you have private contractors who have been afforded diplomatic immunity. This is the easiest way to cover up illegal activities and to provide cover for your agents. It is always the same. Also, very important detail, all these projects are carried out under agreement with the host state but these agreements - I have these agreements between the Department of Defense and the Ukrainian state - all these agreements prohibit the host government or the local government from public disclosure of the information related to the program which means that I can't ask officially the Ukrainian government to provide detailed information as to the type of the biological research, the projects, the results, simply because they are not allowed to provide publically this information. It is secret.

This is another way to cover up the program and an agreement with the host state. By the way, the Pentagon has been granted access to the state secrets of the host state under this agreement which is very scary. Actually the host state does not have control over the military bio-laboratories on its own territory. It is scary. In the case of Ukraine there were a lot of outbreaks of deadly diseases. The local police launched an investigation in one of the cases, infection with an incurable disease but because the military program of the Pentagon in Ukraine is secret information we can't asks questions and we can't get answers. This information is classified.

What for?! If this is for the benefit and for the health of the Ukrainian people then why not announce what you have done for these people? Why these secrets? I don't believe that anybody who has looked at these documents can trust the Pentagon, that they're so altruistic that they would spend $2.1 billion on biological research projects around the world, especially in countries bordering on Russia, China and Iran. Instead of spending this money on their own citizens! It's ridiculous! It's obvious that the Pentagon has spent so much money on military programs which aims to develop biological weapons.

And this is not my allegations. These are the facts. And all these facts are provable and verifiable by documents originating from the Pentagon. The sad thing is that we can't convince people that such things can happen today, people in Ukraine, in Georgia. I've been in communication with them. They can confirm all the inexplicable outbreaks but they can't accept the fact their own government can use them as testing ground for something so terrible, so scary. They just don't want to believe it.

Elan: The US has a long history itself of testing biological agents and other things on its own population. There is the Tuskegee experiment where soldiers and the US southern regions were infected with syphilis. But anyway, you've done a lot of research into this particular subject. One of the things that struck me in a rather strong way was the section that you wrote "How to kill 625,000 People For Just $0.29 Cost Per Death".

Dilyana: This is a Pentagon project, yes.

Elan: Yeah, do you want to speak on that a little bit?

Dilyana: This is information from declassified Pentagon documents and according to these military reports on the US biological weapons program in the past, one of the experiments - maybe it wasn't only one - but it was a comparison between aerosol attack with tularemia on the city and mosquito attack with insects infected with yellow fever. This aim of this report was to assess which way of attack is more effective, but cheaper and it turned out that if the US army potentially uses aerosol attack on the city and infects the city with tularemia, it would be cheaper and it would kill more than 600,000 people, just for $.29 per death. It is scary. So they also researched how to produce multiple casualties for less money. That's in the documents.

Elan: Right.

Dilyana: And this shows how much our life costs them. Our life costs them $0.29!! That's our life.

Harrison: So this example isn't so much like a science fiction movie; it's more of a comedy horror movie. This is Dr. Strangelove meets 28 Days Later where you've got a bunch of people in a bunker somewhere talking about the weaponized mosquito gap, saying "Oh, well we can get this many mega-deaths for only 29 cents on the dollar". It would be funny if it wasn't so disturbing at the same time.

Dilyana: Unfortunately they're willing to spend huge amounts of money and I wonder why the taxpayers in the United States are not informed about the way their money has been spent because to be honest, I don't follow US domestic news that much but I know that people complain that they don't get enough money to feed their children because the state doesn't provide enough help for child care and so on. So their big problems with the health system in the United States exists. Can you imagine if all this money spent on biological research projects abroad, if it was spent in the United States for the American children, for their health, for other humanitarian purposes.

I'm sure that the American citizens would not approve of their money being spent on producing viruses and toxins if they calculated over the last decade how much money has been spent on the production of viruses and toxins. For what? Who can answer in the future, I hope not.

But the thing is all these laboratories are located in countries bordering on the main rivals of the United States. And all the Pentagon chief announced that the main threat to the Pentagon is China and Russia. Obviously the bio-laboratories are located exactly in the countries bordering their main rivals.

Also another interesting fact, the US has been secretly collecting biological material from China and Russians. I have no idea as to why the US army has been collecting synovial tissue and RNA from Russia. I have absolutely no idea. I read again, a military report which was prepared by the US army and it describes the genetically modified pathogens. In this military report the army released five groups of genetically modified pathogens and one which is a designer disease. These designer diseases can be used to target a specific genotype or specific ethnic group for the development of ethnic bioweapons. So far nobody has ever publicly confirmed the development and research of ethnic bioweapons but the fact that this type of weapons are present in a military report means that it is highly likely that the Pentagon has been researching such types of weapons. And why are they collecting biological material from, especially Chinese and Russians? I have no answer.

Elan: Well this idea of ethnic-specific biological weapons first came to our attention about 15 years ago. We had read stories about Israel researching the ways to design weapons that would just kill those of Arab descent which seems pretty ridiculous, but there it is. There is a precedent for this it seems. On your point about this collecting material from the Russians and the Chinese, President Putin recently addressed Russia's Human Rights Council and said "Do you know that biological material is being collected all over the country from different ethnic groups and people living in different geographical regions of the Russian Federation. The question is, why is it being done." And he continues. He says "It's being done purposefully and professionally. We are kind of an object of great interest." So at least they're aware of it.

Dilyana: Yeah and also in the case of China, I want to point out a number of projects on collection of biological material from Chinese people such as saliva, cancer tissue. Why has the US collected saliva and cancer tissue from Chinese people? What for? This is a project which I read over and over again and I just couldn't figure out why. Why do they collect saliva? DNA obviously. And cancer tissue from Chinese people? What for?

These are all projects which can be verified by documents. This is not science fiction. Maybe it sounds like it but unfortunately all of these documents are originating from the Pentagon, meaning that all this is not science fiction. This is what is happening now in Ukraine, in Georgia, in the United States because can you imagine that in the United States - I don't know if this fact is known in the United States, but they US army is producing, even now, live bio-agents and preparing them for dissemination by aerosols and explosives. By the way, this facility has been used not only for research on bio-agents but also chemicals, probably chemical weapons, although the US has joined the UN Convention on the prohibition of biological weapons and chemical weapons as well. And their justification is "We're doing all of this for defense" but there is nothing defensive when you take bio-agents or chemicals and disseminate them by aerosols or other means. This is not defensive. This is an offensive military program.

But this is something that the US citizens must decide on, whether they want to support their government or not because this money is taxpayer money. They must decide on what programs the Pentagon must focus on, either China and Russia and new nuclear weapons or some for peaceful purposes. Because the truth is when you spend more money in the production and development of weapons, this is not something which can bring peace to the world. And the history in our world proves that.

Elan: Yeah. We're in the US, in North Carolina. We have been watching so many developments here that have fractured our society in the past 10 years and especially in the past year-and-a-half Dilyana. It's like we're waking up to another reality and people are so distracted. They're so identified with either getting ahead or materialism or their own ideological preferences, not to mention the fact that the media here is so controlled. Unless you're going to websites like SOTT or South Front or a number of others, unless you're really looking for the truth, it seems quite easy for people to be manipulated into believing that things are a certain way. But there's a lot of anger here and we expect things to boil over in the coming years I think.

It just speaks to what you said: "Why aren't people standing up against this sort of thing?" and you're absolutely right but they've been lied to and they're so far from knowing things. I think the only mainstream source of your story on the Syrian arms trafficking was Al-Jazeera. These important stories are not covered here and we do try and cover them as best we can on SOTT.

Harrison: Yeah, but you run into the same problem that you ran into Dilyana. Even though Bulgaria's a small country and the Americans actually have quite a big influence over Bulgarian politics and media, in the states there may be a lot more media but it's just as controlled, even if it's just a matter of self-censorship where stories like this will never get mass media coverage. It would take a miracle basically to make a story like this go viral and to have all of the mainstream media covering it. You run up against that immediate self-censorship where whoever gets the story will either say "Oh, well that's not good publicity" or "It's probably not a good idea to cover that" or "It's probably not true." And then if they are interested their editor says "No, we can't run that". So you're up against a huge machine that doesn't want any information like this to get out.

Elan: And even if it does get covered by some miracle, the implications of it, the meaning of it, the significance of it won't get explained to people. For instance, there's a reason why the Pentagon is doing research so heavily in Ukraine, in Chechnya, in Georgia, on the doorstep of Russia, its geopolitical nemesis. These are just points that seldom come to light in our controlled information space here in the US.

Dilyana: Yes, you are right and I don't know how the situation in the United States with the media is, but I know how the situation with the media is in Ukraine and in Georgia in Bulgaria in these countries which are totally influenced by foreign money and foreign interests and powers. Bulgaria is a NATO member state meaning that all our foreign policy is totally subjugated to the interests of NATO and that they mess with Georgia, they mess with Ukraine. I had a conversation with one Ukrainian journalist and I can't understand why the journalists keep silent. It is about them!

I don't live in Ukraine but I do care. I don't live in Georgia but I do care about the Georgian people because no matter where we live it's not about me, about my wellbeing. We are all human beings and we must do something. I know the situation in Ukraine, in Georgia is the same and the journalists are so afraid that something bad can happen to them, probably in Ukraine and Georgia they can even be killed. I don't know. I don't have such fears in my country but probably they fear for their lives. I don't know. But it is about them. How can they allow their government to allow foreign countries to come on their territory to set up bio-laboratories producing viruses, bacteria and toxins and testing these viruses, bacteria and toxins on the local population!?

And furthermore, to classify such programs and prohibit the local government from public disclosure. This equals treason really. It is unimaginable. This means that you can't defend yourself in any way and I can't understand this indifference which I meet everywhere. People think that "Well, we are healthy. We are fine. We don't care." This is not true because tomorrow it will be you, it will be your child and your parents that can die. We forgot what happened in Africa, the Ebola crisis, how many people died of Ebola because it is so far away. These people from another country, they are less worthy of international media coverage because it is in Africa.

But actually the Pentagon has military bio-laboratories at the epicentre of the Ebola crisis and also there is one private contractor American company working at the Pentagon bio-laboratories in Ukraine, in Georgia, which also have been awarded a lucrative contract for activities at the epicentre of the Ebola crisis, even before the outbreak of Ebola, meaning that this outbreak was somehow predicted by the Pentagon. Why was this company sent to Sierra Leone two years before the outbreak to research Ebola? This is the type of projects and the conclusion is the Pentagon researched the Ebola virus before the epidemic. Logically, if this was a natural outbreak the Pentagon must have researched the Ebola virus during the Ebola epidemic, not before that because otherwise they should have prevented the epidemic, not allowing the spread of this virus among the local population.

There are many questions but I feel so sorry for people in Africa. They have suffered so much and nobody cares about them because they're not worthy of the international media attention because they didn't have the luck to be born in Europe or in the United States. They were born in Africa. So their life doesn't matter and their life is like this military document, $0.29 a piece. This is the value of their life. It's very sad and I hope that in years journalists from all the countries affected will realize what this program could do to all of us, to the whole of the world because you can't control viruses. You can genetically modify them, what the Pentagon has been doing, but you can't control and confine a virus from spreading if something goes wrong.

That is why this is the subject of maybe my future investigations. The Pentagon has a lot of programs on the development of vaccines. So the Pentagon genetically modified the viruses and at the same time produces vaccines. This is changed because all of this is not natural. All of this is intentional. You create the virus and then create the vaccine for this virus to protect in the future your military personnel-probably. This is the only possible explanation. Huge amounts of money, really millions of dollars over the years for creation of deadly viruses.

Elan: And who knows, with what we've been reading about vaccines, if the vaccines are being created to make people even more vulnerable to the viruses or to something else. But as you were speaking Dilyana I was reminded of something Martin Luther King, Jr. had said - and I'm paraphrasing here - "Injustice anywhere is a danger to people everywhere" and that I think is what you've driven home today for us here in the studio and our listeners. I just want to thank you for spending the time with us today to go over in so much detail what it is we've been seeing and what it is you've been learning. We really look forward to your future research and work and it was a pleasure to speak with you today.

Dilyana: It's an honour to be your guest and thank you for the opportunity to speak up. I don't have many opportunities to have so much time to explain and to have such support. Thank you and thank you to your listeners as well.

Harrison: Thank you Dilyana and anytime, the next time you write an article, we'd be glad to have you back on the show to speak for as long as you want. So thank you again for making the time for us.

Dilyana: Thank you too. Best of luck.

Harrison: Take care.

Elan: Well that's going to bring this show to its end. Thank you listeners for tuning in and catch us next Sunday as we bring you back some more news. And don't forget the Health and Wellness Show on Fridays at 11:00. Take care everyone.

Harrison: Bye-bye.